Traveling through Hachimantai in a rental car with your family? Great idea! If you know to do that, you probably already know about the Salad Farm- a rather expansive area with all kinds of great activities and food to enjoy! Whether you’d like to buy house plants, create your own “moss ball” with a plant growing out of it, pick fresh strawberries, relax in a cafe, or or meet the cutest Alpacas that you’ve ever seen – the Salad Farm is the place! Another of the facilities were renovated recently, and there’s a large new garden area with ponds, all kinds of flowers, and great views of the surrounding mountains. And don’t miss the chance to try their delicious gelato!
So after you’ve explored the Hachimantai Summit area and walked around the alpine marshlands there, zip down to the Salad Farm for dessert!
Full details here: https://trip8.jp/listings/salad-farm-2/
Now is the perfect time to visit Goshiki Pond in Hachimantai! While it changes color throughout the year and thus warrants multiple visits, if you were only going to see it once, now would be the time! Around late August and early September, just after the end of the rainy season in Japan, the pond is at its most radiant. The bright azure color of the water right now is further accentuated by the red clay that surrounds the pond. Its location right next to another scenic lake, this one not augmented by subterranean minerals and thus normal (though beautiful) in color, makes the special character of Goshiki Pond even more pronounced!
This area is easy to reach, just a 15 to 20 minute walk from the parking lot on the Hachimantai Aspite Line. (Here: https://goo.gl/maps/i4N8C9CsW7dFDMLc9)
And if you visit this area, there are so many other things for you to enjoy nearby! From the ruins of the Midorigaoka apartment ruins near the Matsuo Mine site, to the alpine wetlands near the summit of Mt. Hachimantai- this entire area is a paradise for those that appreciate the great outdoors! And we haven’t even entered the delicious season of autumn colors….!
Detailed information on Goshiki Pond here: https://trip8.jp/listings/goshiki-pond/
This year and last a secret tour was held among a small group in Hachimantai organized by The Hachimantai Farm Stay Council. We were testing and refining the content that is now emerging into the light of day. Allow me to introduce “Hachimantai Auberge Washinooo & Onsen” – a sake-lover’s dream tour of Hachimantai! (more…)
The Nanataki Waterfall in Hachimantai is about 80% frozen now! Hopefully in another few days it will be completely solid!
I was able to hike out there today to check on its progress. Another beautiful day with fresh powder snow covering the forest. It took about 40 minutes to walk to the waterfall without snowshoes, but probably will take an hour if you wear snowshoes.
This weekend and the following weekend will probably be the peak season for people visiting the falls. Don’t miss this stunning natural work of art!
In fast, you can visit this frozen waterfall with a guide that will explain other interesting stories about this natural area here!
Have you ever seen a frozen waterfall? Did you know that because of the way it freezes that the ice swells to more than 10 times the size of the waterfall during the warmer months?
Nanataki Falls is amazing all year round, but in the winter it really is magical. There’s a new tour from the Hachimantai Resort Panorama Ski Area to snowshoe out through the pristine winter forest to see this stunning tower of ice.
The Matsuo Mine was once the most productive sulfur mine in all of Asia, and the apartment buildings for the workers were hailed as a model of community living. It was founded 1914 and at it’s peak in the 1950s employed 4,900 workers and housed a total of 15,000 people in these four-story concrete apartments. However, new technologies allowed sulfur to be extracted as a byproduct of oil refinement so extracting sulfur from volcanic regions became obsolete. The mine closed down in 1969, but these concrete housing units where the workers and their families once lived remain. Entrance is forbidden, but you’re welcome to drive down the little road that goes next to the apartments. It’s beautiful to gaze upon these structures as they are gradually reclaimed by nature, and ponder the fate of all human civilization.
Located right along the Hachimantai Aspite Line – this is a must-see spot if you’re heading up to the summit! Don’t miss it!
When you here the word Appi, the image that comes to mind is the Appi Kogen Ski Resort. But this area is also host to a vast beech forest area called Naka no Makiba. It was even voted as one of the top places in Japan for “forest bathing.” When we visited in November there were also a few horses put out to pasture here, adding to the mystique of this area. In fact, the trails around here are open for horseback riding during the warm seasons. (We’ll post more information on that here on the site soon! Imagine- horseback riding through this breathtaking natural environment in the expanse of wilderness past the Appi Kogen Ski Resort.)
This is also where you’ll find the trailhead to the 50km trail that leads up to the summit of Mt. Hachimantai, across to Mt. Mitsuishi,and the goes along the ridges all the way to Mt. Iwate! We’re dying to try that trail out and give you a more detailed report. Next year!
The Hachimantai Aspite and Jukai Lines are closing for the winter from 5pm on Tuesday, November 5th. The Hachimantai Aspite Line will reopen at 10 a.m. on April 15th and the Hachimantai Jukai Line will reopen at 10 a.m. on April 24th.
In April when it reopens we’ll again be able to enjoy the Hachimantai Snow Corridor at the same time as the cherry blossoms begin to bloom, all along the same road!
But first, winter is coming! It’s almost time for us to start enjoying the dreamy powder snow that some have started calling, Hachipow!